If you’re considering going to graduate school for Speech Language Pathology, you know there are so many options! You’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed (or if you’re me, completely overwhelmed), at the thought of sorting through allll of those options!
- Set your criteria
- Rank those criteria
- EdFind & Excel
- Narrowing It Down Through Research
- Rank the schools again
Set Your Criteria
- Geographic area
- State Certification:
- If you know you want to work in Minnesota, going to school there will help you obtain your license for that state.
- School size:
- Big, medium, or small? Personally, I went to a small school for undergrad so I’d like a larger one with more resources for my graduate degree.
- Program size:
- Research opportunities:
- If you’re considering getting a PhD, you’ll definitely want research experience during your masters program
- Degree type:
- Do you want to be a clinician? Then make sure you go to a school with a clinical degree; some schools offer “non-clinical masters” for people interested in research.
- Emphasis area:
- If you’re one of those lucky few who already know what you like, find a school that specializes in that. Some schools specialize in medical SLP or others have programs for Bilingual SLP’s (like me!)
- As a side note, if you’re getting a clinical degree, the majority of the classes will be the same in order to meet ASHA requirements; that means there isn’t a whole lot of room for specialization. You’ll get more of that through mentoring with faculty and through your clinical placements
- Traditional / Online / Hybrid:
- If you can’t make it to a traditional classroom everyday because you’re working or you have kids, consider an online program or even a hybrid.
- Full-Time / Part-time:
Rank those criteria
Once you’ve decided a few factors that are important to you, you need to decide which factors are most important to you. I recommend picking just one or two.
Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to find a program that has everything you want, but the chances are slim. It is important to keep an open mind.
Anecdote: When I was a senior in high school, I was 100% sure I was going to UMKC for college. No Doubts. One morning I was in Physics class (not particularly wanting to be there), and an announcement came on the PA system announcing there was a representative from Truman State University in the counseling office to visit with any interested seniors. I was much more interested in anything other physics, so I went to the presentation. Long-story made short: I fell in love with Truman State; I ending up going there and it completely changed my life.
Moral of the story? Keep an open mind…and don’t be afraid to skip physics class 😉
- First, I wanted a program that offered training in bilingual and multicultural issues. So I automatically crossed off any schools that didn’t advertise a bilingual track.
- Second, I needed a school that offers an extended program for out-of-field candidates.
EdFind & Excel
Narrowing It Down Through Research
Reach out and talk to People
Side note: Just because professors are busy, doesn’t mean they get to be rude. When I was doing research, I had a few professors who flat out said things like “I don’t have time for this” or “This isn’t my job, you’ll need to talk to someone else.” So I crossed those schools off my list. Why would I want to work with someone who is unpleasant?
Rank The Schools
Credits: Featured Image Uni Logos & Thinking Man from Freepik.com